Red Bank Regional Distinguished Alumni present at their 2016 induction include (left to right): Dr. S. Thomas Westerman, Dean Ross, Tahj J. Holden and Dr. Lindsay Maggio. Not present: Dr. Janice A. Egeland, CPT Bo Olsen.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
Recently, the Red Bank Regional High School Buc Backer Foundation held its 15th annual induction of Distinguished Alumni into its Hall of Fame. RBR Principal Risa Clay welcomed the inductees and their families, explaining that “this event has become a wonderful tradition. It combines the occasion to learn more about the rich history of our school and it gives us an opportunity to honor our past heritage.”
This year’s inductees included award-winning psychiatric researcher Janice A. Egeland, Ph.D. (Class of 1952); otolaryngologist and inventor Dr. S. Thomas Westerman (Class of 1952); Red Bank businessman and community leader Dean Ross (Class of 1969); physician and professor Dr. Lindsay Maggio (Class of 1998); financial advisor, coach and collegiate star athlete Tahj J. Holden (Class of 1999), and Army Troop Commander, West Point graduate and athlete CPT Bo Olsen (Class of 2004).
A special ceremony took place in front of a student-packed auditorium, where The Buccaneer student newspaper writers read their biographies of the inductees and introduced them to the audience. The inductees and their families where later treated to the RBR Culinary Club’s specially prepared brunch while serenaded by the VPA Piano Majors. Shrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden, Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff, Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham and New Jersey state representative Michael Hughes bestowed proclamations upon the distinguished alumni.
Dr. Egeland could not make the ceremony but sent her sister Nina, her most ardent supporter, in her stead. RBR junior and art columnist Emilie Weiner described the researcher’s trailblazing career from the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school in the early 1950s to her groundbreaking research on bipolar disease.
The distinguished medical career of Dr. Westerman was detailed by RBR junior and art editor Phoebe Carr. She noted his holding of five US patents for his different medical inventions as well as his long-time contribution to local clinics including The Parker Family Health Clinic. She added that,“he also travelled overseas to lecture … especially in Israel where he was given a lifetime appointment to their Society of Otolaryngology.”
The life-long community service of Dean Ross was detailed in RBR junior and Buccaneer writer Alex Sosa’s account. This included his dedication to his hometown of Red Bank, where he spearheaded such programs as the “Shine the Light” initiative in partnership with St. Anthony’s Church to provide bike lights to local residents. He extended his philanthropy overseas on missions with his family to Africa, donating many shoes from his Red Bank Doc Shoppe.
Dr. Maggio’s medical and research career was highlighted by Buccaneer Editor In Chief and RBR senior Amy Cavallo, who stated, “Throughout her 15 year medical, research and education career she has earned many awards and recognitions including being twice honored by Brown University with its Medical Student Teaching Award and its Resident Teaching Award.”
Buccaneer Sports Editor Ella Brockway described Tahj Holden’s amazing athletic career which included membership on the national championship basketball team at the University of Maryland, a stint as a professional basketball player in Istanbul, Turkey, and serving as basketball coach at both Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, and his current position at Ranney School in Holmdel. A financial advisor for Morgan Stanley in their Global Sports and Entertainment Division, the storied RBR basketball player also served as the student council president. He told the students how he always pushed himself to perform outside his comfort zone, giving the example of trying out for the school Shakespearean play (where he surprisingly earned a star role), even though he had never acted.
RBR junior Zeke Weston detailed the astonishing career of CPT Bo Olsen, a West Point graduate and athlete, and a standout RBR athlete who “led the school to the state playoffs for the first time in 19 years” as captain of the football team. His military career included responsibility for a 458 paratrooper airborne cavalry reconnaissance squadron and now Troop commander. Among many other accolades, he earned the Armed Forces Service Medal, as well as the Bronze star for his mission in Iraq. Yet another deployment on a very important mission in service of our country precluded CPT Olsen from attending the ceremony.
The Olsen family was in attendance, however, including his father, RBR teacher Brad Olsen, who spoke on Bo’s behalf, thanking all the people — teachers, coaches, and family — who gave him the opportunities to be the man he is today.
“No one achieves success on their own without having people opening the door of opportunity for them,” Mr. Olsen explained. “As students at RBR, all of you have doors of opportunity opened to you by the great teachers and staff here. You just need to take the initiative to walk through those doors to accomplish great things that you are all capable of.”